DIVERGENT WORLDS. ON THE DIFFICULTY (AND JOY) OF TRANSLATING EPISTEMIC DISCONCERTMENT
This talk will inquire into the »epistemic disconcertment« between divergent practices of knowledge creation. Drawing on the resonances between Emanuele Coccia’s plant humanities and the »ecology of practices« of translators of North-American indigenous thought, the focus will be on a form of bewilderment that provides fresh ideas for translation.
For Emanuele Coccia, the only legitimate form of philosophy is cosmology based on the cosmogony of plants. In this regard, Coccia’s thinking bears striking similarities to the translation of North-American indigenous thought by Robin Kimmerer, a Potawatomi writer and biologist. Coccia’s sharp critique of the compartmentalization and thus self-censorship among academic disciplines strongly resonates with pedagogical principles found in the epistemologies of the South. Nevertheless, these resonances incur significant »epistemic disconcertment« (H. Verran) between divergent knowledge practices. Drawing on Isabelle Stengers’s understanding of »relational hetero- geneity«, Elisabeth Weber’s talk will explore such epistemic disconcertment through an emphasis on the difficulties of translation rather than mere comparison.
Elisabeth Weber is Professor of German and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is an instructor for the »Foundation in the Humanities« Prison Pedagogy Correspondence Program, based at the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center at UC Santa Barbara. She also teaches for the Scholars At Risk Network USA. Currently, she is IFK_Guest of the director.